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Scottish Government to determine NHS workforce capacity

The Scottish Government has launched a wide-ranging review of the NHS workforce to decide where workforce capacity was required to staff the future NHS.

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said the review would conclude in the autumn, and was part of a wider consultation with NHS staff and the Scottish public over the future of health and social care in Scotland over the next 10-15 years.

Ms Robison said she wants to ‘reach consensus’ around reforms needed, including working with the BMA and RCGP in Scotland.

She said: ‘I want to try and reach as much consensus around what we want our Health and Social care systems to look like over those longer time frames and the steps we need to take to get there.

‘This will include planning what capacity is required where and what the workforce will need to look like to deliver these new services in a different way, so the role of the professional bodies and the royal colleges will be key to informing that work. That engagement will be on-going but I would like to have reached broad agreement on this plan by the autumn of this year.’

Jill Vickerman, Scottish secretary of the BMA, said: ‘We are all in agreement that our NHS is under extreme pressure and cannot survive indefinitely based on the goodwill and self-sacrifice of health professionals.

‘The BMA is ready to play a full part, alongside other professional organisations, colleges and the public, in providing input from doctors across Scotland, to help ensure that this plan is deliverable, and that it genuinely ensures safe, person centered and effective health and care for people in Scotland into the future.’

It comes as the Government and GPC in Scotland last year agreed on a three-year contract deal while negotiating a new Scottish GMS contract better suited to a Scottish future vision for health and care, with the new contract planned to come into force from April 2017.

The review of the GMS contract will focus on how it can be geared towards caring for an increasingly multi-morbid elderly population, finding a solution to problems with GP recruitment and retention, being able to meet patient needs in remote and rural areas of Scotland and for the contract will enable the planned integration of health and social care services.